As we’ve stated in the past, every lawyer and law firm needs a website. It is the online front door to your office. To be sure that your website is welcoming and properly designed, look at this list of common mistakes made by law firms and what to do about them.
- Website Domain Name: Own your domain name and address. If someone else owns it, for example, www.lancelawyer. webdesigner.com, they could take down your site over a billing dispute or fail to renew your registration. You can purchase your domain name from domain registration companies such as Bluehost, iPage, or GoDaddy, and the cost is minimal.
- Your domain name should feature your name or firm name such as LanceLawyer.com or L&LLaw.com. If .com is not available, try .net or .law. You could also consider using your area of practice, such as elderlawMI.com. Your name choice should be professional and found easily by search engines.
- Your Opening or Landing Page: Keep your landing page simple so it can load quickly. Avoid large photos or graphics which take a long time to appear. If your page doesn’t appear in few seconds, people will move on. Be sure your email address and phone number are displayed on each page so a potential client knows how to reach you.
- Old News: If your website was designed a long time ago and hasn’t been updated, it’s old news. Search engines rank sites with periodic updates. Adding a blog that is posted regularly with legal information is one way to keep the site current.
- Social media links such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, lets your readers easily share their experience with your firm. One click will send your site link to their social media friends. That way, you will reach people you may not have directly targeted as possible clients.
- Target Your Niche Market: A website that promotes too many areas of practice will not show up on the first page of Google's search results. Select the area you want to promote and build your site around that theme. Think how a user will search for a particular type of attorney and use those words in your keyword descriptions, metadata, and page titles.
- No Analytics: Studies show that about 75% of lawyers don’t use analytics to measure a website’s performance. Without this information, lawyers can’t track the site’s progress or understand their reader’s habits and needs. Click on the analytics section of your web page or blog or try Google Analytics to learn about your readers. Another way is to ask new clients on how they came to you.
A website is one of the easiest ways to reach legal consumers. Following some of these suggestions can help make your website one of best sites read by a potential client in search of a lawyer.
After years practicing law, Roberta Gubbins served as editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides writing services to lawyers ghostwriting content for websites, blogs, and articles. She is editor of The Mentor, the SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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